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Opinion

Blanket claims cloud conversation on meat taxes: Cattlemen’s Association

By Tom Lynch-Staunton      

It doesn’t make sense to tax a food, especially in Canada, that is highly nutritious and where the intended environmental benefits may be minimal or even non-existent, writes Tom Lynch-Staunton.

Tom Lynch-Staunton of the Canadian Canadian Cattlemen’s Association says that while cattle do in fact produce greenhouse gases, domestic producers work 'very hard to minimize them through animal nutrition, genetics, and environmental health research.' The Hill Times file photograph

There has been a lot of rhetoric in the media recently about meat taxes with the inference that eating less meat will reduce ones’ carbon footprint. Unfortunately, balance and context are often absent from this complex discussion, particularly around the Canadian agricultural environment, which is unique in the world. For example, cattle grazing supports the health of natural grasslands, which also provide wildlife habitat, biodiversity conservation, water filtration, and soil carbon storage. Not having a balanced discussion about both benefits and impacts is a disservice to all Canadians.

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